In prison, sport between integration and social peace

Pull-ups, squats, push-ups or even dips, the inmates watched the street exercises. ©YES

As part of the Olympic week, organized from 20 to 27 June, the inmates of the Fleury-Mérogis detention center were able to try out new sports.

This competition allowed us to strengthen the social ties between us. We encourage each other, we give each other advice… it restores the coziness in the prison. “Komando”*, who is being held in the detention center of Fleury-Mérogis, makes no mistake. Sport makes it possible to appease and channel detention. A continuity for some, but also a discovery for others, who had never set foot in a sporting goods store. Olympic sport since the Games in Tokyo (Japan) last summer, 3×3 basketball is developing little by little on French soil. Until taking possession of the Jacques-Anquetil gymnasium in Fleury-Mérogis for the first edition of the Open 3×3 penitentiary basketball. Organized on June 22 by the Interregional Directorate of the Paris Penitentiary and the Ministry of Justice, this women’s and men’s tournament brought together 130 players from six different establishments in Fleury-Mérogis, Nanterre, Fresnes, Meaux, Melun and Réau. And on this occasion, the French Basketball Federation had put the small dishes in the big one.

Fleury achieves double
In addition to a DJ running the show throughout the day, each team had a jersey assignment (home and away) streaming in in the name of the prison it represented. There was also a uniform “Unity” for teams consisting of several inmates from different prisons. † Some teams are made up of prisoners and guards. We wanted to create cohesion with the staff. This is important in the context of the reintegration of the detainee “says Vincent Saint-Charles, Regional Sports Coordinator. This day presented a beautiful spectacle.

130 players from six different establishments took part in the first edition of the Open 3×3 penitentiary basketball. ©YES

Between improbable shots, laser passes or even crossovers, a few inmates provided the show. Especially during the final, where the custody of Fleury-Mérogis won the day for both girls and boys. Fleury’s women’s team easily beat Réau (6-0). In the aftermath, Fleury’s men’s team beat that of Meaux (7-3), which had been unbeaten until then. † We are home ! We are home ! “, could be heard in the bays of the Floriacumois gymnasium after the two finals of Fleury. The day concluded with an “All-star” match featuring seasoned players from across the region. † Everything went wonderfully well “, rejoices Vincent Saint-Charles, referent in the field of sports in the prison environment.

A duplex contest
Still in the same context of Olympic week, the first edition of the street workout challenge took place on June 24 in the promenade courtyard of building D1 of the Fleury-Mérogis shelter. An event made possible by the association “Impact 2024” which equipped this space with various devices for an amount of approximately 20,000 euros. An investment to the delight of prisoners. † Sometimes on a walk, we are almost two hundred so it is difficult to access the facilities “Explains” Sonny”, inmate of Fleury Prison. But due to the unpredictable weather, the match was almost postponed. When the rain curtain and the storm were over, the twelve selected athletes could compete against the competitors of the Central House of Poissy ” in a Ninja Warrior atmosphere for the youngest or Intervilles for the oldest “, ironically Stéphane Scotto, interregional director of the penitentiary services. A demonstration that can be followed in duplex. A first for an event organized in the prison. Pull-ups, squats, push-ups or even dips, the inmates underwent the various street workout exercises. † It’s new to me. I usually only do push-ups. We hope that these kinds of competitions will take place more often », launches « Komando ». Evidence that the seduction operation was successful.

Jeremy Andrieux
*names have been changed

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